Routine? What Routine?

  

Okay. So I’m a part of a 15 day blogging challenge. This will be very good for me because I struggle to post often on my blog. Mainly because life demands so much from me, a condition that will change one day. 

I was challenged to answer this question: What is your daily success plan?

Gulp. Really? There is such a thing? Lol! I scratched my head over it for a few minutes before coming to the conclusion that when I had some semblance of a plan, I failed miserably and it took me the better part of s year to recover. See, I’m the type of person that works hard for what I want but I end up going in too many directions. I just love doing different things. When I put myself on a schedule, when I get behind I feel disappointed in myself and that leads to “I can’t do this” kind of stuff. I need to get over it. I WILL get over it!

As of today, my success plan looks like this:

5:15am: alarm goes off to get ready for work M-Th. Friday and Saturday I forget the alarm and allow my body to rest. Sunday is the day of rest.

5:30am: shower for work and scrub the sleep from my eyes. I do use a facial cleanser with peppermint in it to wake me up!!

6:15am: grab a piece of fruit and any leftovers from dinner for lunch. I gather my vitamins for the day.

6:25am: I race out the door for work, muttering a prayer that traffic cooperates for my 30 minute commute. 

6:30am: I start reciting my affirmations for the duration of my commute, expressing gratitude at ever stop light along the way.

7:00am-12:30pm: I work hard for the chiropractor I assist for and give love and support to them. They love our clinic!

12:30-1:45pm: I break for lunch and spend some time alone where I surf my social media.

1:45pm-5 or 6:00pm: I finish my workday and head home.

5 or 6:00pm-6 or 7:00pm: again, I recite affirmations and express gratitude. But sometimes, I talk through the next scenes of my books. The characters just speak to me. 

7:00pm-8:00pm: I get dinner prepared for my family and served.

8:00pm: I finally get to sit down and do what I want! This is usually where I work on behind the scenes work like bookmarks, book signings, emails, and publishing. 

9:00pm: I do a quick ab workout and yoga. Love my yoga.

10:00pm: I get in a meditation that helps my mind relax and open to new possibilities.

10:30: I set my clothes out for work and slip into bed where I put on another meditation that helps me sleep well. I offer a prayer before I press play. 

And then the next day starts all over. You can see that I struggle to find any time to fulfill my dreams. But I do find the time. It’s just a little slower than I’d like. 

On my days off, I’m generally flooded with a “to-do” list of projects, school work, and grocery store shopping that includes the making of a menu. I feel like I blink and they are over. I miss the traveling we used to do and I miss the freedom I used to have working part time. But the day is coming where it won’t be just a dream any longer. That thought alone is what motivates me to get up each day.

My daily success plan is a little inverted. But it’s what works for me. My one post on Mondays is my attempt and staying present and active in the blogging community. I’m thankful Jeriann challenged me to focus on that one task each week. For the most part, I can handle it. Lol! So for these 15 days, I will be using my lunch hour to post and perhaps I will find that little gold nugget of inspiration to continue on in the same fashion. 

If you made it this far in my rambling post, congrats! I appreciate you reading! I always do. I do think my series is far more interesting than my daily routine so click over to my Noble Courage page and link up to book one!

Trivia Time! We’re Having a Party!!

  

It’s been a little while since I’ve divulged any cool trivia about my writing. I thought this little ditty fit great!

My mom’s birthday, as you know from last week’s post, is coming up on the 31st of May. Yes, my books will be on sale that day. But something you may not know is that Lyndsay’s birthday shares that of my mother.

See, when I created Lyndsay, I patterned her after my mom. She was sweet and strong but beaten down by life, illness and loved ones that couldn’t understand how she felt inside.

There was a time when my mom was my best friend. She helped me through every pregnancy, every birth, and every adjustment to life with children. And as I sit back and think about it, a rift between us began to form when she moved away. I mean like across the state kind of moving. We could talk on the phone, but it wasn’t the same. I learned to live life without her.

I suppose there was some jealousy in me that she found a guy that treated her well and that she was head over heels with this sweetheart of hers. I was a single mother of four sons dating one loser after another. I worked late hours and saw little of my children. I grew lonesome and regrets shredded my soul. My mom was not there to pick up the pieces and show me how to repair my life.

My mom, bless her, started to struggle. So much, that I grew agitated that I couldn’t help her. After years of coaxing, we finally moved her back nearby. Just as Aspen felt she had saved her mother, so did I. I had a lot of anger inside at those who had hurt her so badly and left her damaged.

The moral of this story? Even though I wrote Noble Courage a long time before most of this happened, my mom’s journey has been eerily similar to Lyndsay’s. I created a mother for Aspen inspired by the mother I love so much. One who is strong but submissive, loving yet hardened. Sometimes I look at her and those pretty blue eyes scream at me that she is so tired and worn out. Both mothers are people to celebrate as we approach May 31st!

If you read Noble Courage and want to hear more about Lyndsay’s life, read The Tales of Elgolan. It will only be available in one book for a short time longer! In this book, you are entertained by the back story to Aspen’s parents in five short stories, each connected with the next. Get it on Kindle today and get ready for the big sale on the rest of The Aspen Series on May 31st!!

Honoring Those Who Gave us Everything…Then and Now #MFRWAuthor

This was in my feed this morning and it stirred much emotion in me. I cannot find the words to express my gratitude for those who protect my freedom. Sad as war is, I’ve come to realize that it is a brutal part of human nature and the struggle for power. It is the innocent casualties that are the real tragedy of these times.

I have written of wars but I have also written of times of peace. Yet, my fictional militia is always at the walls, ready to protect those within. So are our military personnel. My grandfather, my step-son, my brother-in-law…these men have served their country…have served me. And all of them were changed by it. Please don’t forget their sacrifice.

Mona Karel Author

When I contemplated talking about Memorial Day, my mind went several different directions (no surprise there) I thought about my uncle Dick who died in Korea…I once read a letter he wrote home explaining why he believed he needed to be there. I thought about the young sailors I met while living in Japan. When they were in port I’d meet them at the roller skating rink in Yokosuka, or visit them in the hospitals…at least those lucky enough to come back. I thought about wars extending back through time. Then as now, young people fought against each other to fulfill the wishes of others. Always, The Charge of the Light Brigade plays through my head. A tragic loss of brave young men, following misunderstood orders potentially tainted by personal animosity. The truth of historical events does not always live up to the stories we’ve been told.

Tennyson eulogized those…

View original post 553 more words

From the Record Book of Aspen Darktower: A Mother’s Love

  

Having just spent Mother’s Day with my sons, I felt the need to express the joys of motherhood and reflect on the sacrifices made by mothers all the time. I hope you enjoy this little piece of Aspen’s. When you finish, tell your mother you love her.

A mother’s love is God’s gift to a woman because He loves her so. A love unique to her that only she will know.
~ Aspen Darktower


“I take pause as I watch my little ones play at my feet. Our quarters are close here in Foxglove, so we see the children often. My heart fills with joy each moment I spend with them and it makes me wonder…Did my own mother feel this same sense of happiness as she watched me play?

There were so many things I never got to tell my mother and so few things we ever spoke about.

As my sons talk to each other in a language all their own, my mind wanders to the day my mother passed away. She finally appeared to have found peace despite the fact that her life was taken from her. Still, it was heartbreaking to say goodbye. It was unbearable to return her body to the earth.

There are days that I miss her smile. There was comfort there. There was love. I would give anything to sit with her again and have her brush my hair. I want to wrap her in my arms and offer her the safety within that circle. I wish I could kiss her cheek and feel the warmth of life.

I thought I’d have my whole life to share my love with her. I thought she would enjoy her grandsons. I never thought she would go so soon.

For my mother so loved me that she shielded me from the world. She could not shield me from my Da, so she protected me from everyone else. She loved me enough to insist that I better myself- that I learned from every experience, for she knew of my destiny. I can still hear her haunting words in my mind as I was whisked away from her so young, “Make me proud.”

I threw down upon my mother my feelings of hatred and anger. I lashed out at her with a forked tongue. Every drop of hurt in every tear I cried was wrongfully directed at my mother and Da. I was selfish; she was selfless.

I look at my little boys and I know if I had to endure that much hatred from them, I would be utterly destroyed. It is this realization that floods my soul with unimaginable guilt and plagues me with regret. Once that loved one is gone, there is no reconciliation. There is only the guilt.

And so I find myself in a position of motherhood. The love I feel for my children is overwhelmingly powerful and grows stronger each day. I marvel at my sweet creations and celebrate all that my mother did for me…and continues to do for me, even from the grave. A mother’s love knows no bounds, yet it binds a woman with a power no one else will ever experience. That is God’s gift to a woman because He loves her so. A love unique to her that only she will know.”

In light of the love between a mother and child, I will be having a sale on my books to celebrate my own mother’s birthday! Mark your calendar for May 31st! Noble Courage will be free and the rest of the series will be a steal at .99 each on Kindle! Happy birthday, mom!

 

My sister left, my mom middle, me right

 

Turn Open Wounds to Scars… 

 

photo found at tekegraph.co.uk



I have always loved Mary Poppins. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen that movie. The very thought of any person who could walk into a dysfunctional household and work miracles was quite attractive to me as a child.

Today, I came into a situation where I find myself resting on the couch and as I was flipping through the channel guide, Saving Mr. Banks had just started so I decided I would watch it for the third time. But I can see how much Helen Goff is much like me…even though her demeanor is a polar opposite…the depth of her emotions and her love of the characters from her memories is similar to me. Lol!

  • Reason 1: She adored her father as a child. Everything she did was in an effort to make him proud.

  • Reason 2: She is a lady through and through. She takes pride in her appearance and strives to always look the part.

  • Reason 3: Her writing is her form of therapy. So much of her pain is expressed through her books.

  • Reason 4: She loves her characters on a personal level. Those characters are very tangible and real emotions are attached to them.

  • Reason 5: Some very special people helped her to heal. Although she didn’t welcome the healing, certain people tolerated her and loved her enough to turn open wounds to scars.

Ms. Goff is highly respected in my mind. I truly admire her love for her father and also for her characters. I find her disdain for Walt Disney amusing and I wonder if I would throw fits over movie rights as she did. I can imagine the feeling of signing over my rights to someone and it scares me to death to let go of Aspen. I hope that when the time comes, I can hold my ground and go about it all with the same tenacity she did when she battled Walt for the perfect rendition of her world.


I want to send a heartfelt thank you to the very special people in my life that helped many of my wounds heal. Whether you just passed through temporarily or are a permanent fixture, I love you and adore you.

I’m so thankful God gave me the gift of stringing words together. If you are looking for the best love story since Romeo and Juliet, give Noble Courage a read. Thorne and Aspen will become your new BFFs. Book one is just the beginning…

Oh my Goodness! Cinderella is my Idol!

  

So the hubby and I went to see the newest rendition of Cinderella and I must say, I felt like a princess when I left the theater! While some may not have liked it, I absolutely loved the message that no matter who you are, be who you want to be. Have courage and be kind. 

And so I turn my mind to Aspen, who has been occupying my thoughts as of late, and knowing the hardships that await her in this last book “The Key of the Kingdom”, I can’t wait to connect with her and spur those adventures forward. 

I must say, I don’t want to return to my regular old life. I want to keep that royal mentality, that there is so much more to me than what people see. That I’m special and unique, much like Aspen isn’t your run of the mill heroine, yet she is human. Weak even, sometimes. But she has courage and she is kind. And she wears a crown well.

I will wrap this Cinderella story in my heart and wear my invisible crown impeccably…as my sweet Aspen has shown me how. 

My words of advice: Keep calm and wear the crown. If it gets a little off kilter, straighten it and move on. But always have courage and always show kindness.

Pick up Noble Courage and fall in love with Thorne and Aspen. Take a vacation to my world where Aspen resides…always waiting for my return.

Miracles Happen

  

I missed posting last week! Why? Because I’m breaking away from my fictional adventures temporarily to pursue a non-fictional passion that will better humanity, one miracle at a time.

I used to be a person who thought I was caring for my family properly…until my eyes were opened to the reality of my ignorance.

I thought I was a positive person who saw the best in life…until a better way was shown to me. The very same way all the “greats” of our world had known and it resonated deeply inside of me.

I was a person who used chasing four sons around as exercise. I was of the mind that stressful exercises created results. I thought it was hard and grueling in order to see changes in my body.

I was a person who loved everyone…except myself. I relied on others showing me love to feel validated.

I was a person who felt success happens to the lucky ones and since I wasn’t a best seller, I wasn’t allowed to be lucky.

So I was all of the things I shouldn’t have been. I feel exhilarated and full of energy as I embark on this project. I feel that nearly everyone in the world feels the same way I did.

I had to be the miracle in my own life instead of expecting one to happen.

Keep watching for more details about this life-changing project!

Escaping To Cliffehaven



As I woke this morning, padded my way to the kitchen to make my breakfast, and greeted my sweet puppy dogs with a ‘good morning’, I looked out my window and was immediately reminded of the Washington coast. The high clouds that filled the sky filtered the sunshine that fell so soft on the pine tree in my front yard that the needles looked vibrant and alive. If I closed my eyes, I could almost hear the sound of waves crashing over the beach, the smell of the salt water was not far from my memory.


And as it usually happens, my thoughts then turned to Aspen and where I had left her the last time I worked on her story. She was sitting calmly between the stone teeth atop Cliffehaven’s castle. War weighed heavily on her mind as she watched the village below her wake up. It was a cloudy morning, much like the one I was staring out at. She could hear the waves crashing on the cliffs and memories flooded her mind of the crescent shaped beach and the hidden garden of Eden where she had married Thorne. The sound of the waves brought her more comfort than disdain.

It felt like yesterday that Thorne had whisked her away on the king’s orders, to places she’d never imagine had existed, and places that were far from the sea. It was a sound she missed while they were away and it was the sound of the waves that welcomed them home again.

And so my fingers itch to tap into her life again and although war is looming over her, I miss her so much and look forward to moving forward beside her until the series ends. She may feel fearful in her cloudy morning but I feel hopeful in mine.

Are you just meeting Aspen through these posts? Get to know her better in Noble Courage

Edit

From the Record Book of Aspen Darktower

IMG_2455

Today is a gorgeous day that feels like spring although it’s only February. While Mother Nature may merely be taunting us, I’m enjoying the sunshine as it streams through the windows and I thought of Aspen. What was a refreshing spring day like for her? And so I consulted the record book.

Aspen never dated her ramblings. She merely recorded her life’s details for her children. Upon buying a record book in Foxglove Pass, she began to fill it, and many others, with memories. Enjoy!

“Sometimes I think back to the first day I arrived in Cliffehaven, how frightened I was and how much anger I held within my breast. It’s strange how love is like a seed planted in the soft spring soil. You bury it to forget it exists, down deep where it’s dark and unseen. But how miraculous it is when it is warmed by the affections of another and watered by your tears that it begins to grow…even when you had forgotten it existed. Much like the sun warms a seed and the rain wash it to give it life, love places roots down in that dark place and its substance fills the void with life. As it begins to show evidence of its existence, and is properly manicured and gently tended, love will grow quickly and heartily. And when it matures, it gives off its fruit and rewards the keeper ten-fold.

A strong word of caution: When the spring begins to turn and the heat of scorn or the frigidity of loneliness interferes and that seed begins to die, so will the love that had grown so beautifully. It is then up to the one doing the tending to return it to the life of the spring and once again coax it from that dark place.

Each of us holds a seed within. Each of us can tend another’s seed and either make it grow or kill it. The choice is our own.

I look out over the grand city of Foxglove Pass, at the grandeur of the flags rippling in the breeze beneath the soft blue sky and radiant sunshine and my mind wanders back to home where the gray stones of the castle are cold beneath my hands, the village is bustling with merchants, and clouds of dust billow up from the farmlands as planting begins. If I close my eyes a moment, I can hear the waves of the sea crashing over the shores that are near. Gulls cry out as they fly inland and then back out to the water and the fragrant posies are sweet as I would breathe in the fresh air. Home is a simple place and I miss it so.”

Happy New Year! Read For Free!!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/c35/39839388/files/2014/12/img_1911.jpg

So thinking towards a bright and sparkling new year that is right around the corner, I decided to just put all my books on sale…for #FREE!

The only catch is that Noble Courage can’t be free because I had it on sale five days in December. But everything else I have solely put out there is going to be free until Friday, January 2nd.

This is your perfect opportunity to pick up the vast majority of my series for nothing out of your pocket. If you would just kindly leave your thoughts when you are finished, I would be most grateful.

And if you feel so inclined, I would love some Indie suggestions from you on the best books you’ve read this year!! Help a girl out here!

I hope you all have the best New Year’s celebrations. See you again in 2015!